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Okay, let’s get this out of the way right off. I don’t like summer. Matter of fact I hate summer. I’ve hated summer since I was a kid, and although I’ve become more tolerant of the heat as I’ve gotten older, I still have no love lost for the season.

Have you ever felt helpless and wondered what you could do to change a situation? I have. I’ll never forget a phone call I received about sixth months into my ministry. It began with the ominous statement, “Cal, I have some difficult news to share with you.” From there, things went downhill.…

We got to the airport way before the airline was ready to check our bags, we waited in line, finally boarded the plane, slept for maybe an hour and a half, then landed in the Açores around 6 a.m. At this time, of course, the hotel was not ready to let us in our room, thus in our zombified st…

A real highlight of summer for me is sitting on my front porch watching the world go by. It truly is one of my favorite pastimes, and believe me, I consider sitting with a cup of coffee my main hobby! Usually I’ll put on some music or listen to a podcast but every now and then I get motivate…

Since the Johns Hopkins report came out about our educational system and specifically Providence, we can no longer neglect our schools! We must face the facts. Our school system is broken. We need to fix it now before it becomes even more damaged.

I saw the eyes before I noticed anything else. Agnes and Gary knew I was a big fan of Pixar’s Toy Story. So when I went into my office I recognized it right away. Sitting there, and staring back at me, was a hat with the face of one of the three-eyed, green alien toys from the third movie in…

It saddens me to see the ‘chicken little’ attitude of the MFD about the Misquamicut bike path. My wife and I retired here from New Haven three years ago and though we are not avid cyclists, we do ride several times a week. This plan for a bike path is imperfect, but is much better than what …

Mitch Albom is an excellent writer. A sportswriter by profession, he shot to instant fame with the memorable book, “Tuesdays with Morrie,” a bittersweet tale of Albom’s relationship with a favored college professor dying of cancer.

I first noticed her as her mom was busy buckling her baby sister into the car seat. She couldn’t have been more than six years old. She was standing beside the car oblivious to what was happening around her. She was looking up and reaching out to catch the raindrops with her tongue as they w…

My husband and I have been camping at East Beach since the late 1970s. We are non-residents but have always treated our campsite and the whole area with reverence. We have acted as stewards to keep our area neat and clean, act responsibly and, often, police after those who are not so respons…

Camping, picnics, and Fourth of July celebrations are just a few ways that Southern New Englanders make the most of the warm summer months. Not to rain on your parade, but a report from the United States Fire Administration indicates that summer is one of the most dangerous seasons for fire-…

In the article written by Dale Faulkner on June 27, we find out, as our children already know, that many of the precious elementary playgrounds at our public schools are in serious decay and unsafe. We find out that “the failing equipment will be removed at the direction of the School Commit…

‘Were you wearing a ‘Goofy’ shirt yesterday?” he asked. I told him I was and asked him why he wanted to know. He replied, “My son said he met God yesterday and he was wearing a “Goofy” shirt. I laughed. So did he. I told him that it wasn’t the first time that child had mistaken me for God as…

I recently returned from a week spent visiting my parents in Massachusetts, and am eagerly anticipating a long week in Maine this coming August. Maine is one of my favorite places and I look forward to my annual visit all year long. In preparation for my vacation, I was looking at the great …

PTSD Awareness Day is observed every year on June 27. PTSD stands for post-traumatic stress disorder and is a condition that affects many veterans and non-veterans alike. It can occur when someone experiences or witnesses a traumatic event. The condition wasn’t always understood properly by …

When I was 16 years old there were two things I said I would never do again. First, I declared that I would never wear a suit and tie. I told my parents that it wasn’t my style. Second, I swore I would never go to another funeral. I laugh now. It seems like that’s all I do these days. In the…

Every evening before I fall asleep I like to pop on an episode of the mystery series I’m currently engrossed in to relax. Currently, I’m relying on “Father Brown.” It may seem strange that a murder mystery helps quiet the brain in the evening, but for whatever reason it works for me! Maybe i…

Ilove a parade! That old song came to mind as we stepped off for the 120th annual Firemen's Memorial Parade last week. It goes, 'I love a parade, the tramping of the feet, I love every beat I hear of the drum. I love a parade, when I hear the band, I just want to stand and cheer as they come…

I hate to pay for parking. We probably could have found something on the street but the cars and people were everywhere. We were barely moving and I was afraid we might not make it if we wasted too much time. So when a man in a baseball cap waved me in, I took the spot. Fifteen dollars was a…

For decades, nervous young valedictorians have been standing at graduation exercises, knees knocking, proclaiming, “This not an end, but a beginning,” as though that line had never been used before and was therefore terribly profound. It was, however, profound to those in the graduating clas…

Thursday, June 6, is the 75th anniversary of D-Day. On that day, more than 160,000 Allied troops landed along a 50-mile stretch of heavily-fortified French coastline to fight Nazi Germany on the beaches of Normandy. I’ve mentioned my France trip in a previous column talking about Monet’s gar…

Many people have asked local firefighters, police officers, and emergency medical technicians why emergency vehicles seem to be using their sirens more often and why residents seem to be hearing more sirens even at night when there is very little traffic. There are several reasons, including…

We went to a Pawsox game last week. It was the first time in two years, which was not deliberate. We’ve been going for years, but for some reason, last year each time we planned to go, it always rained, or it was too hot, or something came up; and before we knew it, the season had quickly sl…

I was debating about whether I should wash my car or not. I decided to wait until later in the week because I wanted to take it to a car show on Saturday night. I love my Mustang convertible. I like to go out for a little drive on sunny days. Unfortunately, my schedule was full for the day. …

Dementia is a symptom, not a diagnosis. With that said, I’ll remind you that Alzheimer’s is dementia but dementia is not always Alzheimer’s. When giving my talks throughout New England, I’m often asked by attendees if they can expect to develop dementia because one of their relatives receive…

When people visit Washington, D.C., for the first time, they usually have Arlington National Cemetery on their list of must-sees. And when they get there, their two must-sees within the cemetery itself are the grave of President John F. Kennedy and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

I was at Westerly’s 350th Anniversary Gala last week and was blessed to meet a woman who regularly reads my column in the newspaper. She told me she never misses it and often shares it with others. I was flattered. Then she said, “I don’t know how you come up with something different every w…

I suspect a prejudice against books of short stories – circulation is generally lower in comparison to full length novels. I hold myself guilty, I passed them over too. I suspected they would not be serious enough, not long enough to develop the plot or characters. Surely they would leave me…

As the town will be replacing the heating and ventilation system at the senior center this week, there will be adjustments to the center schedule. The back half of the building will be closed as units will be places through the ceiling. Everyone will be entering through the front of the buil…

Have you ever met an angel? I’m sure you have. You may not have realized it at the time. They may have looked just like an EMT, an old friend, or even a priest. You see angels come in all shapes and sizes. The key to recognizing an angel is to note the fact that they always show up when you …

Do you ever feel out of touch with the town you are living in? Or, have you ever moved to a new home and felt lonely and isolated, longing for some kind of connection with your new neighbors? Well, if either of those circumstances applies to you, you are in luck! Westerly Library and Wilcox …

“Nearly 1 in 4 active duty members showed signs of a mental health condition,” the National Alliance on Mental Illness stated in 2014. According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, "20 veterans die by suicide each day.” And, from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Adminis…

A few weeks ago my husband and I attended a community event at one of our area’s most wonderful treasures, the Westerly Armory, an event that attracted several hundred people. As we were sitting at the table, sipping our wine while awaiting dinner, Steve came over to greet us, he a member of…

Stonington residents M.J. Brush, an artist, and her husband, Alan H. Brush, retired professor of physiology and neurobiology at the University of Connecticut, went south with both their passions and their 33-foot Cape Dory cutter to produce a decidedly handsome and insightful book about one …